DOJ’s proscription meant to harass government critics

Aug. 11, 2018

Former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, peace consultant Rafael Baylosis, UN Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz and lawyer Jose Molintas

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The human rights group Karapatan lauded the Manila Regional Trial Court that dropped the names of former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, peace consultant Rafael Baylosis, UN Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz and lawyer Jose Molintas in the proscription petition filed by the Department of Justice in February 2018.

As it welcomed the ruling by MTC Judge Marlo Magdoza-Malagar, the group called on the withdrawal of the entire proscription petition and described the same as nothing but a tool to continuously harass and intimidate the critics of the regime of Rodrigo Duterte.

“This initial gain is partial, as hundreds more are still implicated in the petition. We again emphasize that the motive behind this petition is to intimidate and harass known government critics who have courageously exposed rights violations perpetrated by the Duterte regime,” said Karapatan Secretary-General Cristina Palabay in a recent statement issued to the media.

Palabay said the DOJ list was defective and unsubstantiated and was derived from information fed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to malign activists and human rights defenders.

She also cited the remark made by the DOJ Secretary in a hearing at the House of Representatives last August 6, admitting that the agency failed to personally verify the alleged involvement of the more than 600 names included in the proscription petition.

“This regime is relentless and it attacks its critics in all fronts, carefully and deviously wielding the law to mask repression,” Palabay said.

“With new and more aggressive, repressive legislations up its sleeve such as the amendments to the Human Security Act of 2007, the Duterte regime’s underhanded maneuver will only worsen,” she said.

Palabay also pointed out that the amendments to the HSA, or the Anti-Terror Law, include broad definitions of terrorism that threaten the rights of individuals to exercise their freedom of expression, assembly, association, and to seek redress of grievances, among others.

“It contains very dangerous provisions such as an individual being considered a terrorist

only on mere suspicion, and thus the permission given to State forces to monitor, survey, and even tap and intercept their communications,” she said, adding that the people behind the amendments are also the same devils behind the proscription petition.

  • john appleseed

    Everyone knows Duterte urges the cops and the public to murder petty-crime suspects.
    But he also talks a lot about murdering others.

    To human rights activists: “Fine, let’s stop and let the number of drug personalities increase. When harvest time comes and there are many of them, I will include you — because you made the problem bigger.”

    After repeating death threats to criminal suspects, he said, “Even their lawyers, I will include them.”

    “Don’t trust those human rights critics. If you do I will cut off your heads. … Human rights? That is bulls**t to me.”

    On media people whom he says are not fair to him: “See how they slant. I don’t know. But someday – I’m not scaring them – but someday, karma will come.”

    “Just because you’re a journalist you are not exempted from assassination if you’re a son of a b**ch. Most of those killed, to be frank, have done something. You won’t be killed if you don’t do anything wrong. If you are an upright journalist, nothing will happen to you. The example here is Pala. I do not want to diminish his memory but he was a rotten son of a b**ch. He deserved it.”

    “I have my own website and attack you and all that I have to do is to make a research of your life, and the life of your children and daughter and I will just put it there.”

comments powered by Disqus